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A Seamwork Astoria and a self-drafted midi skirt

I’m as guilty as the next person for grabbing a great pattern and then not getting around to sewing it for AGES! The same applies to fabric I guess, and whilst I don’t have a huge fabric stash, some of it has been there for a while!

 

The Seamwork Astoria Top  has been in my PDF drawer for what must be a couple of years now, and at last I can finally see what all the love is about.

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It’s a simple cropped round necked top, and is just lovely. Fabric suggestions for this top are medium weight knits and I went for this blush ponte that I bought from Sewisfaction last time I was down in Wokingham. The textured finish on the fabric gives it a scuba vibe, and the dusky blush colour is super pretty (and also matches my favourite shade of lipstick at the moment which, of course, makes me very happy).

For those remotely interested (because I always like to know these things), my fave lipstick combo is NYX soft matte lip cream in 14 (Zurich) and Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Pillow Talk dabbed on top. You’re welcome.

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I cut a straight size medium and this was just right for me. When I sewed in the neckband, it turned out a little too long and saggy. So out came the unpicker and I shortened it by 2″.  If I’m being picky, it could probably have done with a little more shaved off- but I was too lazy to unpick the neckband again!

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All the usual tools etc were used – a walking foot, a ball point machine needle and ball twin needle for finishing the neckband and sleeves. I also used the twin needle on the waistband – I get carried away when the twin needle comes out! The sleeves are a little long. Not sure why I cut this length when I always prefer 3/4 sleeves, but hey ho! it’s alright isn’t it?

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I totally love it. As someone who wears a lot of skirts and dresses,  I know it will fit well in my wardrobe especially at this time of the year when it can still be a little chilly. I am making more of an effort to sew using plain/solid colours and this pattern is perfect for this as it will pair nicely with my crazy printed skirts and dresses. More of these will definitely be sewn!

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Not gonna lie – I do love a good Instagram challenge, and three gorgeous sewists over on Instagram have started a fun challenge each month this year with the general tag of #sewingpatternsandprints . This months friendly theme is animals and can be searched by looking for the tag #sewinganimalapril .Do head on over and check out the lovely three organisers who are TamlynSamantha, and Kealy, for more information!

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I chose to make a self-drafted midi skirt using this gorgeous animal print stretch cotton sateen that I bought from the lovely Sarah at Like Sew Amazing when I was down in Bristol a few months ago for her shop launch.

It’s a straightforward sew – just gathered rectangles really! I didn’t want the gather to be too full as the fabric already has some structure, so instead of going for double the width, I probably went for about 1.5 times the width in terms of how much gather I wanted. I added a 2″ waistband which I measured nice and snugly – (I’ve been caught with stretch fabrics on the waistband feeling too loose before), and this one is sooo comfortable.

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It simply has to have pockets doesn’t it. No arguments there. My trusty pocket piece that I always have close to hand in case I need to add it was called upon, and add an 8 or 9″ invisible zip from my stash and presto! One quick and easy skirt!

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I went for a midi length, which is not my usual length, as I wasn’t sure if I could carry it off at only 5’2″. But I really like it and certainly intend to make more cute gathered skirts this length in the future!

So all in all, two quick and easy makes which I can mix and match with existing items in my wardrobe. Win Win!

Thanks for stopping by, take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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Another Cocowawa Chestnut Sweater – with interchangeable ribbons!

 

O.k, I know that you have seen this sweatshirt before LOADS of times, but this one’s different ..

This month on my Minerva Crafts Blogger Network make I wanted to make a comfy sweatshirt and this wonderful claret ponte roma caught my eye. Available in a whopping 27 colours it was a pretty difficult choice to select which one I wanted to use.

The next difficult choice (it’s a hard life, I know), was which ribbon to pair it up with. Luckily for me, the lovely Vicki from Minerva kindly sent me two ribbon choices for me to make my mind up with at home with the fabric in front of me. After a great deal of procrastination, I finally realised that I simply couldn’t choose between the two and worked out a way that I could adapt the pattern so that I can add whatever ribbon I feel like!

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It was simple to add these gold coloured eyelets to the opening of the neck slit, and doing this gives me a neat way of changing my ribbon choice as the mood takes me!

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Immediately after making this I proudly showed my husband this genius pattern hack, to which he promptly informed me that I had hammered them in ‘the wrong way up’.  Ho hum! Let’s not loose too much sleep over that one shall we, I still love it! Don’t worry if you don’t have eyelets, you could just as easily sew buttonhole openings here instead.

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My full post, showing this in more detail is over on the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network this month, I’ll see you over there..

 

 

Huge thanks as always to Minerva Crafts for sending me the supplies in exchange for an honest review on their Blogger Nework page.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

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The Stella Hoodie from Tilly and the Buttons.

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O.K, Summer might be over now,  but here’s a way to eek out those tropical vibes for the cooler months courtesy of the Tilly and the Buttons Stella Hoodie and this super cosy Jungle Flowers sweatshirt fabric which was very kindly sent to me to review from the online knit fabrics boutique Pin and Sew.

This is the third project that I have made from Tilly’s book Stretch! and after seeing so many other fantastic versions online, the Stella was always going to be high up on my list of sewing projects when the weather got cooler. It’s an easy-fitting sweatshirt with a 3 piece lined hood with drawstring.

To add a pop of colour to the sweatshirt, I decided to use this pretty pink viscose jersey which picks up some of the pink colours in the tropical flowers perfectly. I also continued that theme with the drawstring cord too.

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The hoodie is really easy to sew, and I made it up in a day. As always with Tilly and the Button patterns, clear written instructions and helpful tips are accompanied by great step by step photographs. You really can’t go wrong.

Instead of using buttonholes for the drawstring cord, I decided to pop in some eyelets from my stash. They are quick and easy to apply and I love how they look. I positioned them right in the centre of the buttonhole marking (shown below), and I hope you can also see the soft fleece on the reverse side of the fabric too.

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I swapped between pink and black thread throughout this make, and when I was stitching the hood lining to the hood to create the channel for the drawstring to run through, I used pink thread in my top spool, and black in the bobbin so that the stitching on both sides would match.

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Another addition that I made was to use some toggles from my stash to finish the ends of my drawstring tape. I ordered this tape online, and whilst the colour is a perfect match for the pink hood lining, the weight of the tape was much lighter than I was expecting. These cord ends therefore, give the tape some weight and they look pretty great too!

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The only alteration that I would make another time would be to shorten the sleeve length. I can’t believe that I just went right ahead and kept these the same as the pattern, as sleeves are always too long for me. Not to worry, I plan to wear this as a layering piece so I might be glad of the extra length after all …

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Finally I added a kangaroo pocket. Because this is an addition to the pattern, it is discussed in a separate section of the book, and I forgot to add it at the correct stage of construction – which is before the side seams have been sewn. Adding it at the end like I did is a little awkward, but not impossible, and next time I make a Stella I will definitely make life easier for myself and sew it in at the correct time!

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Thank you again to Aga for this great sweatshirting fabric. I am sure to be nice and cosy this Autumn/Winter with this in my wardrobe. Have you made a Stella yet? I plan to make the Stella joggers soon too for head-to-toe Tilly comfort!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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Another Cocowawa Chestnut Sweater, with added bows!

 

IMG_4308It’s no secret that I absolutely love this sewing pattern. Almost as soon as Cocowawa Crafts released this pattern last Autumn I had snapped it up,  downloaded the PDF and whipped up a couple of versions which you can take a look at here. 

During the #sewbrum sewing meet up last October, I decided that along with some fabric purchases from the rag market,  I wanted to save some of my precious fabric spending money on a special purchase of some fabric from Guthrie and Ghani, as this was where we would be ending up the day. My special purchase was this Rose Pink Marl Fleeceback Jersey. It’s just beautiful. Immediately I knew it would end up as another Chestnut Sweater.

I love bows and ribbons, and decided that with this version I would add bows at each cuff. Why not? I already had some grey ribbon in my stash which would be perfect for the bow at the back of the neck and just needed to purchase some narrower ribbon for the cuff bows. Oh by the way, I have chosen to make view A again, which has the ribbon at the centre back neck.

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So my plan was to insert the cuff ribbons through two openings in the cuff piece. The cuff piece is basically a rectangle of fabric which is folded in half lengthwise and attached to the sleeve. Before I attached it to the sleeve I  needed to work out where I wanted the openings (as I wanted them to only be on the outer layer of the cuff). I folded the cuff, pinned it to the sleeve and carefully tried it on to work out where I wanted the centre of the bow to sit. I marked this point on each sleeve.

After unpinning the cuff pieces again, I measured each one to make sure the point where I wanted the centre of the ribbon to sit was evenly matched on each cuff and adjusted them very slightly so that they matched perfectly. I then worked out how far apart I wanted the openings to be – in my case 4.5cm, and also marked these positions on each cuff.

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So there are a couple of different ways that you can make the openings for the ribbon. I chose to use eyelets. These come as a kit with the tool itself included. You can select different metal colours and I chose a gold finish. There are also different sizes and I used the 5.5mm size.

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The instructions on the back of the packet are a little vague, so I resorted to good old YouTube for some visual help with how they work, and found a good video which helped me work out how to fix them. You’ll need a hammer, and my advice would be to hit it REALLY hard, this way you get a good strong finish and it won’t come apart at a later date. This is something that really needs at least a couple of practice attempts on a scrap of fabric. It’s good fun though!

If you don’t have eyelets,  you could always sew little button holes to make the openings. Or perhaps take the ribbons, tie them in a bow and knot them tightly and just sew the knotted bow on the cuff where you want it.

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I was able to then attach the cuffs to the sleeves, and thread the ribbons through after they were attached using a large blunt darning needle.  They are super cute and I am really pleased with how they have turned out.

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I warn you now, this is not the last Chestnut Sweater. You will be seeing more – I just love them!

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Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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My latest Minerva Crafts Blogger Network make – a cosy Burda 7148 sweatshirt dress.

Hi everyone and Happy New Year to you all!

I just wanted to let you know that my latest post as part of the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network is now up on their  website.   It’s the Burda 7148 sweatshirt dress and is perfect for this cold start to 2018. I used a gorgeous loop-back sweatshirt fabric for this one and it was perfect for this pattern.

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I needed to make several adjustments to make this dress work for me, but it all turned out great in the end. I will leave a link here to the full review over on the Minerva Blogger Network page, where I talk  through all the alterations that I made and there are lots more photos too.

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Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you over at Minerva!

Take care, and I’l be back soon,

Kathy x